Amazon.com is fighting hard to gain a foothold with respect to selling software to Android owners. It's been a bit of a surprise to me that they still haven't established themselves on an international level, but they are working hard to have some quality games that aren't available on Google's Android Market. Hero Princess is one such quality game. It reminds me of an old, old game I had on my Atari 400 from Thorn EMI called Orc Attack.
In Hero Princess you are the 'hero princess'. You're a 'princess' by birth, and a 'hero' because the sole defense of the castle from the invading Vikings is up to you. The Vikings have already deployed their ladders (and why she doesn't just kick them away is... never mind) and are furiously climbing up to capture you and take the castle. But you have an unlimited supply of pebbles at your disposal to drop on them and so you do... tap tap tap on each ladder to unleash a hell storm of pebbles to knock those Vikings down. The game would get old if it was just that, but there's more... you can also shake the ladders. Oh, and did I mention power-ups?
There are four basic types of Vikings that you will be fighting... one that can be disposed of with a single pebble, another that has a shield and requires multiple hits to be eliminated, a third that needs to be shaken off, and then the Viking ghost that is eliminated with a combination of the two attacks. Naturally, as the game progresses there are more and more Vikings that are sent to capture you and they always win in the end.
The graphics are sharp and pretty with nice detail on the Vikings and the sound effects are rock solid. The touch screen interface is also really nice especially when compared to an old Atari joystick. Just tap a ladder and your princess instantly appears with weapon in hand. There have been many variations of this type of game and my memory credits Tapper with being the first of its kind. I'd even say a game like Flight Control owes something to this genre. However, I love the whole fantasy theme with castles and Vikings and ghosts over serving beers in a bar so this game gets extra style points from me.
Hero Princess, at $0.99, is an excellent addition to anyone's Android game library. It's fast, plays smoothly, makes good use of a touch screen interface, and has that extra 'cuteness' factor all in favor of it. If you're looking for depth... look elsewhere, but if you're looking for challenging arcade games that are of high quality then this is a dollar well spent. 4.5/5 stars.